Friday, February 02, 2007

A view on climate change from a former IPCC panelist

I came across this evening. It's late, I've had a tough day with work, but this is so important it has to be posted. It comes from a former IPCC panelist and MIT meteorologist, Richard Lindzen.

On Global Warming Fears: I think it's mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves.

And there's a lot of confusion in this and, you know, at the heart of it, we're talking of a few tenths of a degree change in temperature. None of it in the last eight years, by the way. And if we had warming, it should be accomplished by less storminess. But because the temperature itself is so unspectacular, we have developed all sorts of fear of prospect scenarios -- of flooding, of plague, of increased storminess when the physics says we should see less.

No warming in the last 8 years. That makes sense - after all, the IPCC report does state that methane levels have DECREASED and if the earth was warming that should not happen. The IPCC report also admitted that it didn't understand why it had decreased. Perhaps the cows have stopped farting.

Lindzen on ‘Symbolic’ Solutions to Global Warming Lindzen: "[I]f there's anything that there is a consensus on, [it is that we] will do very little to affect climate. So right now despite all of the claims to the contrary, we're talking about symbolism. And I think Julian's point is correct. Do you spend a lot? Do you distort a great deal in the economy for symbolism? And I think future generations are not going to blame us for anything except for being silly, for letting a few tenths of a degree panic us.

And I think nobody is arguing about whether our climate is changing. It's always changing. Sea level has been rising since the end of the last ice age. The experts on it in the IPCC have freely acknowledged there's no strong evidence it's accelerating.

Various other recent studies have also indicated that sea level rise has not accelerated - but that hasn't stopped the media with their big scary graphics showing the UK half submerged.

Lindzen Says UN IPCC does not Reflect Thousands of Scientists – Only a Dozen or so Scientists: Senator Inhofe was absolutely right. All that's coming out Friday is a summary for policymakers that is not prepared by scientists. Rob is wrong. It's not 2,500 people offering their consensus, I participated in that. Each person who is an author writes one or two pages in conjunction with someone else. They travel around the world several times a year for several years to write it and the summary for policymakers has the input of about 13 of the scientists, but ultimately, it is written by representatives of governments, of environmental organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists, and industrial organizations, each seeking their own benefit. [my italics]

As I pointed out in my earlier post - this so-called "scientific consensus" is nothing of the sort. It is a political consensus and the latest report is the viewpoint of that political consensus. Why do you think this whole thing has to be delivered from a political angle rather than a scientific one?

And the scientists themselves must be having a whale of a time. Loads of funding for doing what they love, free travel all over the world, no expense spared and the knowledge that they can spin it out for years - unless they conclude that nothing much is happening. Then it all ends. What would you do?

What I have seen today - in the newspapers, on the radio, television and on the web - is nothing short of the biggest piece of propaganda in history. The distortions and fabrications have been staggering. No doubt there will be plenty of people who will look at what they've been fed and wonder how people like me can still remain sceptical. One word I heard on the news was "incontrovertible".

As a great man once said "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."


angela@desmogblog said...

Hello Stan. I am not sure where your "few tenths of a degree" came from - the average temperature is up by more than that in much of the world. You are right on one thing - temperature isn't able to tell the full story. Surely there is political consensus, but there is also corporate consensus, and money to back it. Real scientists are not hiring out for free travel and expense accounts - those kinds of pay-outs (such as those willing to take Exxon's $10,000 pay-off for discrediting the IPCC statement) come from bigger pockets that can be traced to the oil, gas and coal industries.

Stan said...

Hello Angela, the "few tenths of a degree" does not come from me, but from Richard Lndzen - a former IPCC panelist.

You say the average temperature is up more than that in "much of the world", but much of the world isn't all of it. The mean global temperature is still roughly around 14C. If the AGW crowd are happy to dismiss the MWP because they claim it wasn't global - even though evidence suggests it was global and was warmer than now - then I think that a claim of increased temperature in "much of the world" should be treated with similar disdain.

Scientists may well be working for oil and gas companies - why shouldn't they? - but my point is that the scientists who are on the IPCC have an even bigger vested interest too. Why are people happy to accept them at face value more than a scientist working for a gas company?

Finally, I'm not going to argue about who has the "bigger pockets" - oil industry or the UN - but the oil companies have to account for what they spend and how they spend it. The UN does not. Worse still, the more the UN "finds" there is a problem, the more money they will get to investigate it, making the motive for perpetuating the myth very strong.

Remember, this is the same organisation which participated in the "oil for food" scandal in Iraq and the child prostitution scandal in Africa - both of which have been tracked back to the higher echelons of the UN.

If they are capable of deceiving the world about things like child prostitution, done't you think that exaggerating climate change would seem relatively modest in comparison?